Friday Filter: Film “Lone Survivor”

Tom and I went and so this film last weekend.

This is probably one of the best movies I have ever seen.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin reviewing it because there are just so many emotions that overcome me when thinking about it.

Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, curiosity and an immense sense of pride.


Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Their mission was called Operation Red Wing. Four men set out to find this leader but things became fatal when they ran into a couple herders in the mountains. Without radio communication, these soldiers fought for their lives against a group of Taliban, who largely outnumbered the American team. As you can tell by the title, there was only one survivor. This story depicts the realness of war and how simple acts of kindness and a sense of duty to a fellow man may just end up saving us all. You can read here and here for more information.

They did a phenomenal job with this film. I have never heard a soundtrack so real like this. The sound mixing crew captured every breath, every bone shatter, every gun shot, just everything perfectly. I still get teary-eyed and goosebumps just remembering the noise of their bodies being catapulted down the hillside. That is the most haunting thing about this film. The sounds of war.

The acting was outrageously good. They picked a great group of individuals who were dedicated to bringing this story to life for the masses. They believed in our troops and wanted to honor their sacrifice.

And that heroism is what is so breathtaking about this movie.

I understand that I am personally connected to the military everyday, but I honestly think that everyone should see this movie. All of us as Americans should understand what our military goes through. And this is about as real as they can make that experience for us every day Americans. This story gives us a glimpse of the life of a soldier.

You didn’t only see gun fights, but you saw the relationships. That is the part that sticks with me. You see the bonds between a team of soldiers when they eat together or race in the morning. You see the relationships they left behind in the emails and the picking out Arabian horses for wedding gifts. You see the sacrifice for their loved ones. You see the love they have for their brother who is fighting right next to them.

You don’t see politics. You don’t see liberals or conservatives. You don’t see corporate greed.

You just see men being men and fighting to save one another. You see an effort to save human dignity. You see the human spirit and good against evil.

This is why our soldiers are serving in wars. They believe in something and are fighting to protect beliefs that may not even be theirs. They serve because they feel a sense of duty to our country.

As a military spouse, there is a lot I don’t know about what happened on deployment. Even with all the questions asked, there are parts that I will never know or understand. However after many discussions with Tom, this movie does that experience a lot of justice and bridges the gap for us who cannot comprehend the decisions that are made in those moments. They didn’t church it up and showed the gusto that these men have. I am sure many military spouses have heard some variation of, “I can’t promise you that I am going to survive a fire fight, but I can promise you I will not die alone.” There was a scene that showed this sentiment where Marcus Luttrell held up a grenade in fear that he had been compromised. They will not quit even if all is bleak.

Maybe that is why there were moments where I couldn’t breathe or was full out weeping along with the wife sitting next to me. I saw my husband in those men’s faces. I saw our friends standing on the hill. I saw people I admire giving all their energy to the mission. I know if they were in a similar situation as this particular Seal team, they would have made similar sacrifices.

I am proud of what my husband does, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about these kinds of scenes. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t know that my prayers were answered when Tom comes home safely every day when so many others do not.

That is why I urge everyone to watch this. It reminds us about the humans behind the war. These men were other people’s spouses, brothers, uncles, fathers, and friends. It gives us a reason to believe that good does triumph evil.

The theater was packed to the brim. And it was eerie quiet once it was over. Watching the slides of pictures of the actual soldiers at the end brought it home to everyone there.

This was a gripping story to watch. It portrayed a realistic and gut-wrenching view about the actual events of war. It was not about the heroics or the romance that Hollywood often infuses into military plot lines. It ripped away all of that and made it raw and real for viewers to see this story of one lone survivor.

I appreciated every tear and lost breathe. 

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

11 thoughts on “Friday Filter: Film “Lone Survivor”

  1. It was an amazing movie – we went and watched it last week too. I bawled—I think had I not read the book twice about 5 months ago that I would have been okay. Just reading about those guys and getting to know them so well made watching the movie that much harder. I also noticed there were very few differences between the book and the movie. Marcus never stabbed the guy at the end, Danny had his jaw shot off – just a few little things. I also don’t think the “knife” was a duck, but I don’t remember 🙂
    There is a book and documentary out on Michael Murphy. The book is called “Seal Of Honor.” I have not read it yet. I decided to order a hard copy of it rather than download it on my iPad because these are the kinds of books I want our children to read in the future.. whenever we have them that is. The documentary is called Murph: The Protector. It is on iTunes so if you have an AppleTV you can rent it through there. I do not think it is on Netflix. If I have time this weekend I plan on watching it. I have heard from a few friends that it is really good!

    I was in awe of the relationships these men have with one another – a true brotherhood. Still makes me teary-eyed thinking about it.

  2. We are hopefully seeing it this weekend, and I am ready to bawl my eyes out. I’ve read the book so in some way I guess I am prepared, but I think it is going to be so so emotional. Did you ever see Act of Valor? I couldn’t stop crying! It was borderline embarrassing, but these movies are just so powerful.


  3. My husband and I watched the movie together a few weeks ago. I use the term “watch” loosely though. Early in the movie I realized that with his upcoming deployment, it might upset me, so I rolled over and promptly went to sleep 30 minutes in. I told him that if the deployment doesn’t pan out (who knows! There’s so much back and forth!) that I’ll watch it with him.

    He loved it. He said it was very realistic, which I know is important to soldiers when they watch movies about what they do. His other favorite is Act of Valor.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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